“We’re living in a very different world than we did yesterday. And my business line of credit from American Express has absolutely brought me peace of mind.”
Real American Express® Business Line of Credit customer who was aware that his testimonial may be featured by American Express.
Chicago developer battles cash flow woes
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Chicago, the people of the city experienced a sudden and significant cash drain. Many businesses closed, but the real estate market was hit especially hard, and Solomon Barket, an experienced Chicago-based real estate developer, was not immune to the challenges.
“Listen, it’s an odd, difficult time, and everybody’s nervous,” he says of the fallout. “The world is a different place today than it was. It’s not going back.”
One of the industry’s veteran real estate magnates since the late 1980s, Barket has braved several economic setbacks in his career, including a recession in the early 1990s and a similar slump in 2008. He says he learned tough lessons about survival in both contexts – how to be agile, how to reinvent himself as a businessman, and how to know a good opportunity when he sees one.
Once a partner at a large, reputable development firm, Barket opted to blaze his own path after the financial crisis, eventually launching Condor Partners, a small operation with eight employees, in 2014. As Condor’s primary founder and CEO, he had several large-scale projects on the go when the pandemic hit, from a luxury senior housing project in Evanston, Illinois, to a mixed-use project in St. Louis, to the glamorous Hotel Lincoln in downtown Chicago. In the wake of COVID-19 however, with cash flow drying up and fewer projects resulting in fewer fees to cover overhead, he needed to find a solution to stay afloat.
American Express® Business Line of Credit provides needed capital
He ultimately found a solution in an email that introduced him to American Express® Business Line of Credit. He had been an American Express® Card Member for three-plus decades and was interested in this new product.
“By the time I was contacted by a sales representative, we had borrowed against other assets, sold assets, and were even about to sell another investment property,” he recalls. “I said to myself, ‘Hey, I can hold off. Maybe this can get me through what I need to get through.’”
Finding a flexible financing solution
American Express® Business Line of Credit is a flexible financing solution, offering eligible businesses a line of credit that can be used to cover short-term cash flow gaps and everyday expenses, from shipping to office supplies. After applying and being approved, the line is based on the business’ financial history and can be accessed at any time, with flexible term options and no hidden fees on withdrawals, making it an exceptional tool for business financing.
For a seasoned developer like Barket, however, most appealing was its ease of use. “I went online, filled out the information, and it was approved. We drew it down and were able to pay some bills that needed immediate attention. We’re using it to take care of daily needs, it came in very handy.”
A Business Line of Credit from American Express has helped the developer continue to pay his staff. But Barket says the loan has surpassed his expectations in other ways. “What I received was a way to solve a short cash flow problem,” he explains. “We had a two-month gap between two projects that typically cover our overhead of $100,000 per month. The loan made it possible to fund most of that gap without having to reach into my pocket to meet payroll demands.”
By leveraging a line of credit like the American Express® Business Line of Credit, companies can keep their businesses running smoothly, even in difficult times.
“I highly recommend this solution for solving short-term cash flow needs,” says Barket. “We’re living in a very different world than we did yesterday. And my line of credit from American Express has absolutely brought me peace of mind.”
Year Established: 2014
Industry Type: Real Estate
Number of Employees: 8
Annual Revenue: $1 Million
American Express® Business Line of Credit Customer Since: 2022
American Express® Member Since: 1983